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Chief Craig speaks out after suspects who pointed gun at officer released on bond

Posted at 5:37 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 05:37:46-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Detroit Police officers and Chief James Craig are calling out a Wayne County Magistrate for lowering the bond of two suspects after they allegedly pointed a weapon at officers.

That incident led to a high-speed chase reaching speeds of more than 100 mpg. Parts of the case, which happened around 10:30 pm on March 12, were caught on Michigan State Police dashcam video.

The chase started after the suspects inside the car allegedly pointed a gun at Detroit Police Officers. The officers started a chase and then shortly called it off. Later in the night, they noticed the same car again following them with its headlights off.

Hearing this over the radio, MSP got involved and caught the car on a side street. The car then sped off again. Police say the chase reached speeds of 108 mph along busy roads, until the suspect's white Dodge Charger crashed into a DPD scout car at Kentfield and Glendale.

Terrence Jordan, 18, and 21-year-old Joshua McCormick were arrested and charged with multiple felonies. The gun and the car were both stolen. The two also have a criminal past. However, during arraignment in 36th District Court on Monday, Magistrate Millicent Sherman released them both on a $2,000 bond.

“I took it very personal, my partner took it personal,” said Officer Jason Tonti. He and his partner are the ones who had the gun pointed at them.

“These guys are dangerous and I'm telling you right now they’re not going to show up to court," Tonti said. "We’re going to have to go look for them, and we will find them."

Chief James Craig has spoken out many times in the past on the issue of low bond amounts, including in 2019 when a man, charged with assault with attempt to murder along with other charges, was given a $5,000 bond. At 10 percent, he needed just $500 to get out of jail.

“Simply ridiculous," Chief Craig said at the time. "What message are we sending to people who engage in violent, predatory crime?”

In a statement, Chief Judge William McConico explained that no weapons were discharged, and said the report given to Magistrate Sherman did not mention contact with a DPD scout car. He also said the file give to Magistrate Sherman showed no extensive criminal history for either Jordan or McCormick.

In a statement, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in part “the report is clear in describing allegations regarding the police… There is no reason that a $2000 personal bond should have been set by the court.”

“I don't know what happened, I don't" Tonti said. "But it's very frustrating that these 2 guys are back out on the street, and they’re going to continue to do what they’re doing.”

McConico's statement below.

"On Monday, March 15, 2021, Chief Magistrate Millicent D. Sherman presided over the virtual hearing to determine bond in case number 2021706232. The following provides background for the ruling, as well as the facts that were available to Magistrate Sherman at the time of the hearing.

The Investigator’s report, which was given to Magistrate Sherman approximately one hour prior to the hearing, showed that while one defendant was observed with a firearm, no weapons were discharged. Further, it showed that the chase resulted in a one vehicle crash and did not involve any contact with a Detroit Police Department cruiser, any civilians, or any other vehicles.

Pursuant to Michigan statutes and Court Rules, the Magistrate objectively weighed the factors the Court must consider when determining bond such as prior criminal record, risk of flight, history of dangerousness, ties to the community, etc. The defense convincingly presented information confirming the defendants’ ties to the community, multiple stable jobs, and a lack of prior criminal contacts. There was no information given that indicated that either defendant presented a flight or safety risk. Further, the current public health emergency presented by COVID-19 must always be considered when determining bond.

Contrary to what has been reported, no extensive criminal history was shown. A file will often have a notation if other cases or charges are pending, and such a notation was not present on the file at arraignment. It is important to note that the documents provided to Magistrate Sherman by the Detroit Police Department did NOT include the Michigan State Police traffic accident report, the Livonia Police report, the Dearborn Police case file, the Southfield Police report, the Westland Police report, nor the Detroit Police Department’s 8th Precinct warrant jacket referenced in the Investigator’s Report.

No representative from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office appeared to argue bond or their position on behalf of the people. Additionally, the Officer in Charge (OIC) also did not appear at the arraignment, nor did any Officer from the Detroit Police Department. The bond that was set at Monday’s hearing was based upon the facts of the case that were presented to Magistrate Sherman on that date.

It is important to note that should any party feel that the bond must be re-addressed, they can request an emergency bond hearing. That matter may then be heard by either the Judge of Record, the Presiding Judge of the Division, or the Chief Judge. As of this writing, none of these remedies have been sought by either side."

Worthy's entire statement is below:

“On Monday, March 15, 2020, Defendants McCormick and Terrance Jordan, were arraigned before Magistrate Millicent Sherman, on charges of Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property (RSCP), Fleeing and Eluding 3rd Degree, two counts of Felonious Assault and two counts of Felony Firearm. The court file contains an Investigator’s Report that details the allegations against the defendant. * The first line of the report alleges that the defendants were arrested for assault with a weapon on a police officer and fleeing from the police. The report is clear in describing the allegations regarding the police. The report contains other information that cannot be disclosed here, but should also have been taken into consideration. There is no reason that a $2000 personal bond should have been set by the court.

“If that wasn’t enough, at the time of the March 15, 2021 arraignment, Defendant McCormick was on bond for another felony case and awaiting a preliminary exam. The defendant was arraigned on that case in September 18, 2020. Defendant McCormick was charged with RCSP and Carrying a Concealed Weapon* and a $1000 was set by the same person, Magistrate Sherman. It is the responsibility of the magistrate to look at all of the circumstances and set the bond, including an outstanding charge.”

“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has never had the resources to staff the district court arraignment courtrooms. This is precisely why relevant information is always contained in the court file for the magistrate to read and assess before making a bond decision.”